Beijing Olympics 2022: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan meets Chinese President Xi Jinping
Jinping said that China is willing to work with Pakistan in 'aligning development strategies'
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of People in Beijing.
During the meeting, Jinping pledged closer cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor investment programme to build roads, power plants and other infrastructure.
“China upholds fairness and justice in international affairs. China is willing to strengthen the coordination and cooperation with Pakistan in multilateral venues such as the UN and promote justice and world and regional peace,” Xi said.
The meeting happened shortly after Pakistan's army said troops had put an end to four days of assaults by separatists in Balochistan province.
China has invested significantly in the region where separatists have waged an insurgency for years, fuelled by anger that its abundant reserves of natural resources are not relieving citizens from crushing poverty.
During the meeting, Xi stressed that "the Chinese side firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding its national independence, sovereignty and dignity, as well as in combating terrorism", according to state media.
He added that China is willing to work with Pakistan in "aligning development strategies". This was the first meeting of the two leaders since Khan’s visit to China in October 2019.
The two leaders agreed to work closely on further deepening bilateral economic engagement and reaffirmed their commitment to further advance the multifaceted strategic cooperative ties and building the Pakistan-China Community of Shared Future in the New Era.— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) February 5, 2022
Beijing is using the start of the Winter Olympics to score diplomatic points amid simmering tensions with the United States.
Over 30 foreign leaders travelled to Beijing to attend Friday's opening ceremony. But the United States and other western countries have subjected the Winter Games to a diplomatic boycott amid rising geopolitical tensions and allegations of human rights abuses in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang.
Campaigners say at least one million Uyghurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims have been incarcerated in Xinjiang, a far-western region where China is accused of widespread human rights abuses including forced sterilisations of women and forced labour.
The Global Times, run by the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily, hit back at foreign media reports that the event had attracted only "authoritarian" leaders, accusing them in an editorial of using "outdated anti-China cliches".
Toasting his fellow leaders, Xi expressed "heartfelt thanks to all governments, peoples and international organisations who care about and support the Beijing Winter Olympics".
"China has made every effort to overcome the impact of the coronavirus epidemic, earnestly fulfilled its solemn commitments to the international community and ensured the Beijing Winter Olympics is being held as scheduled," Xi said in a speech published by Xinhua news agency.
(With inputs from agencies)